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Photo essay: Mexican indigenous front agitates for rights of migrants in the US

Text and photos by David Bacon

SANTIAGO DE JUXTLAHUACA, OAXACA, MEXICO

MAY 31, 2008 -- The assembly of the Indigenous Front of Binational Organisations in the Mixteca region of Oaxaca, one of the poorest areas in Mexico. A large percentage of the indigenous population of Oaxaca and other states has left to work in northern Mexico and in the United States. The FIOB is a political organisation of indigenous communities and migrants, with chapters in Mexico and the US. It advocates for the rights of migrants, and for the right not to migrate -- for economic development which would enable people to stay home.

Delegates discuss FIOB's by-laws and political positions, vote to adopt them, and then elect new binational leadership in a democratic and open process. Julio Sandoval, a delegate from Baja California, recounts his experience as a political prisoner in the penitentiary of Ensenaada, where he was held for three years after leading a fight for housing for indigenous migrants. At the end of the assembly, Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, newly elected as FIOB's binational coordinator, addresses the delegates, and a group of Triqui women rise to their feet with a clenched-fist salute.

 


 

 

 

 


For more articles and images on immigration, see http://dbacon.igc.org/Imgrants/imgrants.htm

Coming in September 2008, from Beacon Press: Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants, http://www.beacon.org/productdetails.cfm?PC=2002

 

See also the photodocumentary on indigenous migration to the US Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006), http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/cup_detail.taf?ti_id=4575

See also The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004), http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/9989.html

David Bacon, photographs and stories, http://dbacon.igc.org

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